I’ve been monkeying around with the new Facebook Music application (originally iLike’s Facebook App, which launched nearly two years ago on Facebook), and I’m trying to figure out how lifestyle brands can monetize the platform. I already have a couple of ideas, and a few pointers for Cassie and the team over at iLike.
1. The standalone app: iLike has created a very cool standalone desktop app for Mac/PC that works similar to TuneUp, except it’s more like a social browser for music. The user interface is really smooth, and it’s almost like a laid-back version of Last.fm , for people who can’t deal with a complicated service.
2. Social playlists: The fact that I can play a playlist, at any time, composed of what my real friends like, is seriously cool. What a great way to get turned on to new music.
3. Youtube Integration is Great (when it works): See number two, below.
1. Songs get cut off: Frequently, playlisted songs are not played in their entirety, or a song will get played for 3 minutes and will then be truncated. While I understand why this is done (copyright issues), less sophisticated end-users will not be as understanding, and this will not work for brands.
2. Song Version-Switching: Last night, I playlisted the studio version of Deep Purple’s “Never Before” (from the ’72 classic Machine Head) ), and when it finally came up in my player, I was treated to a cover of the song performed by a South American family restaurant cover band. Hilarious? Yes. Acceptable for branded content? Absolutely not.
3. Load Times Are Still Slow: iLike, meet Media Temple . Time to get a faster application service provider, guys.
2. Underwritten Artists: Why can’t all of Flo Rida’s music content be underwritten by his favorite “low” automotive brands? His new album came out last week – Lexus, where are you?
3. Frequency-based metric for music/brand ad inventory: What if you could ad-target a user based on how OFTEN they listen to T-Pain? How often they rock out to Traffic? The opportunities for soap brands marketing to Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead fans alone are mind-boggling. iLike has unwittingly introduced a new ad unit here.
4.Ads targeted by songs in playlists: Advertisers on the social network platform now have another targeting mechanism; how often users listen to certain artists. The possibilities for new artist development here are really huge, as it’s painfully easy to spot breakouts (i.e. how many 55+ women listen to Taylor Swift).